From the French side of the Belgian border, Flemish rock tends to be overlooked. But nobody has forgotten dEUS. A band in which Rudy Trouvé played, who went on to form Dead Man Ray with Daan Stuyven, the latter later performing under the name Daan, with a drummer, vibraphonist and backing vocalist named Isolde Lasoen in his band (we’re getting there, we’re getting there). On stage with Daan on vocals and guitar, Isolde Lasoen was the only one to be seen, twirling between her drums and vibraphone.
The cinematic quality of this album comes into focus right from the start, where we are plunged into the same classy, illusory worlds as we are through seminal soundtracks composed by the likes of John Barry, Ennio Morricone or David Axelrod. Originally a drummer (in the Belgian band Daan, amongst others), Isolde Lasoen is also a vibraphonist, composer and singer. She attempted her solo breakthrough in 2017 with her debut album Cartes postales – and make no mistake, it was beautiful. Only a few ever received her Postcards, but her second album, Oh Dear, promises better fortune.
Heading up the tracklist is ‘Douce Mélancolie’, a duet with the pop dandy Bertrand Burgalat. This ‘sweet melancholy’ sums up Isolde Lasoen’s music well, though it is also topped off with symphonic strings, coated with Wizz guitars and rubbery bass, caught in a storm of tempestuous rhythms and vibraphones, and then sung with a kind of feigned innocence in her quasi-Bond girl voice (with Gainsbourg as 007). Cinematic and romantic in its first half, Oh Dear evolves in such a manner as to pay tribute to the progressive pop of the 60s and 70s (in the style of Stereolab or Goldfrapp—see the album’s final three tracks). No sense of apprehension seems to register in the mind of Isolde Lasoen, whose album is ideal for escaping the heaviness of the world. Qobuzissime!